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Today's Word

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Mar 10, 2014
This week's theme
20-letter words

This week's words
Little Lord Fauntleroy
silk-stocking district
secret of Polichinelle

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with Anu Garg

It's true. Time flies when you are having fun.

Twenty years ago, on March 14, 1994, I started what became Wordsmith.org. This week we celebrate our vicennial.

Thanks to all the readers, supporters, and everyone here at Wordsmith.org for being a part of this journey.

1994 was the year (based on the earliest documented use) when words such as dotcom, spammer, and cybercafe entered the English language. That was also the year when benjamin and Toronto blessing became part of the language.

To celebrate, this week we'll feature terms that are 20 letters long and have a contest.

CONTEST: Can you define this week's words in exactly 20 letters? For example, today's word, polyphiloprogenitive, can be defined as "Generating abundantly" or "Nineteen Kids & Counting".

PRIZES: Winners will receive their choice of any of these prizes:
o A signed copy of any of my books
o A copy of the word game One Up!
o The T-shirt "AWAD to the wise is sufficient"

HOW TO ENTER: Send your entries to contest@wordsmith.org by Friday. Results will be announced over the weekend. Be sure to include your location (city/state/country).



adjective: Extremely prolific.

From Greek poly- (many) + philo- (loving) + Latin progenitive (producing offspring), from pro- (toward) + past participle of gignere (to beget). Earliest documented use: 1919, in a poem by T.S. Eliot.

"Polyphiloprogenitive Joe Fallon, the needy, breedy father of seventeen, or was it nineteen? I was never sure, any more than Joe himself."
Aidan Higgins; Dog Days; Secker & Warburg; 1998.

"All spring and summer my parents ricochet from garden to garden, mulching, watering, pulling up the polyphiloprogenitive weeds, 'until', my mother says, 'I'm bent over like a coat hanger.'"
Margaret Atwood; Bluebeard's Egg; McClelland & Stewart; 1983.

In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends imprisoned by an enchanter in paper and leathern boxes. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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